hi all. new to this. we have an area in our house that used to hold a large mantle and fireplace insert. long story short, we tore that all out and put in a wood stove. we are unfortunately left with a really ugly unfinished project because we don't know where to begin. i am posting pictures--and ultimately, i need advice on how to finish the floor (you will notice that the floor directly under the stove is sunk about one inch from the floor of the living room), any advice on tile (i plan to tile the wall behind the stove) and how to finish the area above the stove so that it will be blocked from the flu...right now all the heat goes up up up through that big gaping expanse. also, we would love to tear out the left side of the wall (as you are looking at the picture) so that we will get more heat into the back part of the house. so any suggestions of what to use for weight bearing on that side would be appreciated. thanks!